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Born as a male but feel like a female OR born as a female but feel like a male. Some persons are unable to feel comfortable in the physical gender that they are born in; their mind, brain, feeling and thoughts are all of the opposite sex. This uncomfortableness in their mind about their physical gender is termed as Gender Identity Disorder.
What's the cause?
We do not know the exact cause of this disorder, but it is hypothesized that developmental changes in the brain and the body do not sync, and the brain/mind is left with a different gender than the body. This is mostly an unidentifiable and unpredictable change.
What are the symptoms?
1. Children might express a desire to dress up as the opposite sex.
2. They might express replusion at one's own sex organs/genitals.
3. As adolescence begins, they do not develop feelings of attraction towards members of the opposite sex. Some complain of revulsion about their pubertal changes.
4. Males want to pee while sitting down, while females want to do it standing up.
5. Their behavior is often more like that of the opposite sex, e.g. boys might display feminine gestures, while girls might indulge in risk taking and reckless behavior.
6. As they become adult, a realisation that they are stuck in a body that they do not like causes depression and anxiety.
A diagnosis of Gender Identity Disorder (GID) is made based on a detailed assessment by a Psychiatrist, who is specially trained in this assessment. WPATH standards mandate that this is an ongoing assessment, and involves facilitating the process of Hormonal Treatment and eventual Sex Reassignment Surgery. The whole process can take 2-3 years.
For those who have severe GID, eventual sex reassignment surgery is the treatment and outcome. However, support of family, friends and a Good Psychiatrist can enable a smooth transition. Psychiatrists will often use antidepressants and anxiolytics to make it easier for the person to cope with societal and family pressures. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!